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2010 2011 BMW 5 Series Forum F10 BMW 5-Series (F10) Forums General 5-Series Sedan and Wagon (F10 / F11) Forum Awful Interior Trims
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      02-28-2013, 07:46 AM   #1
fat dog
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Awful Interior Trims

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The biggest disappointment for me regarding the interior of the F10/F11 has always been the cheap-looking black plastic trims fitted as standard to the SE models. They're ridiculously easy to scratch and seem statically charged to attract dust and dirt all too readily. Despite good appearances in photos, the reality is they look cheap and very plastic in the flesh and on close inspection you can spot that they contain minor blemishes, like little dimples and pimples.

The material used seems to be a very rigid, almost brittle plastic and is now the source of another annoyance. As my car warms up from cold, or when direct sunlight hits the trims, the expansion causes them to produce a cracking noise that destroys the ambience of the cabin. You can even gently press the trims (particularly the door trims) and are greeted by a horrible cacophony of clicks and crack noises. Most troubling, is that they resonate with the hi-fi and during telephone calls and not just when the volume is turned up a bit. I had originally thought that this was due to an issue with the speakers distorting but have now traced it to these awful trims. Having paid extra for the prof hi-fi (as it's known in the UK) you can imagine my disappointment with this issue ruining the music experience.

I've popped a couple of trims off and back on, but unfortunately this didn't help.

I intend to book the car into the dealers to have this looked at under warranty, but was wondering if anyone else has experienced similar issues or know of a quick fix to avoid the inconvenience of getting the dealer involved?
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      02-28-2013, 08:26 AM   #2
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Its quite common across the entire BMW range. My Z4 does it. 3 and 5 series I've driven do it. Don't go near a 1 series if this is what you think of a 5 series. Crackle city. BMW say its to save weight. Personally I think its simply poor quality for a luxury car brand. Audi's make less noise, but they're not perfect either. Go sit in a Merc and move things around, you'll thank buying BMW.
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      02-28-2013, 10:08 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fat dog View Post
The biggest disappointment for me regarding the interior of the F10/F11 has always been the cheap-looking black plastic trims fitted as standard to the SE models. They're ridiculously easy to scratch and seem statically charged to attract dust and dirt all too readily. Despite good appearances in photos, the reality is they look cheap and very plastic in the flesh and on close inspection you can spot that they contain minor blemishes, like little dimples and pimples.

The material used seems to be a very rigid, almost brittle plastic and is now the source of another annoyance. As my car warms up from cold, or when direct sunlight hits the trims, the expansion causes them to produce a cracking noise that destroys the ambience of the cabin. You can even gently press the trims (particularly the door trims) and are greeted by a horrible cacophony of clicks and crack noises. Most troubling, is that they resonate with the hi-fi and during telephone calls and not just when the volume is turned up a bit. I had originally thought that this was due to an issue with the speakers distorting but have now traced it to these awful trims. Having paid extra for the prof hi-fi (as it's known in the UK) you can imagine my disappointment with this issue ruining the music experience.

I've popped a couple of trims off and back on, but unfortunately this didn't help.

I intend to book the car into the dealers to have this looked at under warranty, but was wondering if anyone else has experienced similar issues or know of a quick fix to avoid the inconvenience of getting the dealer involved?
Hi. I've had this too not just on the F10 but on many different cars. I always found that generous amounts of WD40 made a big difference. Just wipe away the excess with a damp cloth.
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      02-28-2013, 11:44 AM   #4
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Thanks for the replies guys.

I'm not new to BMW and so have experienced trim quality/fitment issues in all my BMW's, with the exception of an E39 (the last properly built car BMW made IMO). Although the noises in the other cars were a disappointment, they were tolerable and generally could be cured with well directed lubrication or well positioned packing. I cannot emphasise enough how bad it is in my F11, particulalrly when I've got some music on or using the phone and the whole interior ambience is awash with resonating plastic. I've already tried WD40 along all the contact points between the trim and the door as well as at every clip and pin and it did nothing to help.
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      02-28-2013, 02:35 PM   #5
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My F10 535i have been like a rock, its probably the most solid car I have ever owned. Not one rattle or squeak after one year. I also find the interior material top notch compare to other cars in the same price range.
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      02-28-2013, 03:17 PM   #6
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My F10 (2012 model) has had creaking doors.
This was solved with Gummipledge on the rubber seals and has nto come back.
A creaking noise from where the seatbelt comes out of the B-Pillar. This part has been replaced and the noise is 95% gone. I used to hate driving without the sterio on because of that but am happy to drive with it off now so it's as good as it can be.

Apart from those, it's been fine. As the car is very quiet anyway, you're more likely to notice these things I guess.
I've not had any with trim making noises.

Like otehr have said, I had a E39 previosuly , had that from new for 10years and that was rattle free all the time.
It was a very well built car.I wish I had the space to have kept it because I still think it was the 'best' car they ever made, it was nigh on perfect.





with the exception of :- creaking noises where the seatbelt comes out of the B-pillar
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      02-28-2013, 03:32 PM   #7
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I had a E39 previosuly, had that from new for 10years and that was rattle free all the time. It was a very well built car. I wish I had the space to have kept it because I still think it was the 'best' car they ever made, it was nigh on perfect.
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      02-28-2013, 05:37 PM   #8
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I'm very surprised at the comments on creaking doors and strange trim behaviour when listening to music and/or telephone.

I had an E39 540i Touring for 4-years, and I'd say my F11 535i is just as well built. I've been on the road today, (160 miles), some of it pretty poor road quality and was thinking how good and solid the build is. First BMW I've had that is free of creaks and rattles.

My last BMW, an E91 330d wasn't as good, that had rattles and creaks, virtually from new. The E39 had door seal creaks and rear seat rattles.

My F11 is a July 2011 build, now just under 10k miles, if that makes any difference.

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      02-28-2013, 08:42 PM   #9
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I have a 2011 550i Nov. build which is likewise quiet as a bank vault. No rattles, creaking, or cracking is audible. Also, no need to address the issue.
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      02-28-2013, 11:16 PM   #10
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I have a 2011 550i Nov. build which is likewise quiet as a bank vault. No rattles, creaking, or cracking is audible. Also, no need to address the issue.
2013 F10 550i here...with aluminum hexagon trim....top notch. Better interior than any Audi I have owned (B5 and B6 S4's). Silent.
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      03-01-2013, 04:42 AM   #11
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Thanks for the further replies which is clearly pointing to there being something wrong with my car's trims. Just be be clear, I'm not talking the sort of sudden and singular noise that you might get say driving over a bad pot hole. I can be in the car, engine switched off and using the phone at nothing louder than normal conversation levels. Certain frequencies coming through the car's speakers cause the trims to rattle/resonate. It's just like listening to something through a speaker which has a loose grill or cover, that sort of annoying rattle or resonance, which is why I'd initially assumed I had a problem with the car's speakers.

I popped a trim off one of the doors last night and could flex it considerably in my hand. In particular, when twisted, it produced similar noises. Need to investigate further and try some different approaches to packing behind it. I had the aluminium hex trim in an E60 and can recall how solid that was.

For the record, I've had one or two other minor noises from my F11, which I've managed to solve with Gummi Pflege or a bit of WD40. Otherwise I do find the quality of the F11 to be of a high standard.

Picking up on HighlandPete's last point, my car has not had a particularly hard life (about to turn 1 year old and covered just 12k miles), but this noise has been present since new.
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      03-01-2013, 05:34 AM   #12
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If your car is under warranty, consider talking to the dealer. While I regret having the dealer address some of my noises, as they introduced others, some are not accessible and require a dealer to solve. I think here in the UK where weather is bad and its cold most of the time, the plastics are harder and make more noise. In the warmer US states, there seem to be less issues, which I can only surmise is due to softer warmer plastics.
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      03-02-2013, 12:25 PM   #13
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Boston has similar weather to UK, pretty cold this time of year and no rattles, squeaks or buzzing noise what so ever.
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      03-04-2013, 08:21 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The X Men View Post
Boston has similar weather to UK, pretty cold this time of year and no rattles, squeaks or buzzing noise what so ever.
Then perhaps BMW are simply a bit crap at building cars some days...
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      03-07-2013, 07:45 PM   #15
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+1
I had three E39s. The first was an early-build MY 1997. The doors were triple sealed. They squeaked worse than any car I'd ever had.

Gummipflege didn't help. BMW finally diagnosed it as the rubber gaskets of the inner door seal rubbing against the body. The interior was so quiet that it was very noticeable; if the car had been noisier, it probably wouldn't have been an issue. They came up with a new design (felt-like finish on the mating surface) which fixed it. They replaced all four seals on my car.
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      03-08-2013, 10:39 AM   #16
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Then perhaps BMW are simply a bit crap at building cars some days...
Is your 5 series a 2011 first year model?
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      03-09-2013, 09:12 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AP View Post
My F10 (2012 model) has had creaking doors.
This was solved with Gummipledge on the rubber seals and has nto come back.
A creaking noise from where the seatbelt comes out of the B-Pillar. This part has been replaced and the noise is 95% gone. I used to hate driving without the sterio on because of that but am happy to drive with it off now so it's as good as it can be.

Apart from those, it's been fine. As the car is very quiet anyway, you're more likely to notice these things I guess.
I've not had any with trim making noises.

Like otehr have said, I had a E39 previosuly , had that from new for 10years and that was rattle free all the time.
It was a very well built car.I wish I had the space to have kept it because I still think it was the 'best' car they ever made, it was nigh on perfect.





with the exception of :- creaking noises where the seatbelt comes out of the B-pillar
I have those exact same two creaks (from the seatbelt/b-pillar meet, and the edge of the door trim where it meets the window). Other than those noises which come and go (and I hope is an easy DIY fix once I put some time into it, would hate to take the car to the dealer for something like that where I risk them doing more harm than good), the car feels rock solid, is so quiet even the tiniest "creak" is noticeable, and has material quality so rich I would find them acceptable in a car that costs double the price.
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      03-09-2013, 06:07 PM   #18
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Agree, my F10 is way better than my E39, E46 , E90 and E91 I had before. I was also very pleased with the robustness of the LCI E91 though. I don't think that my F10 resonates nor rattles at all. I almost daily swap between the F10 and E39, I don't see that the E39 is even near the robustness of the F10.
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      03-11-2013, 01:08 PM   #19
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2013 F10 550i here...with aluminum hexagon trim....top notch. Better interior than any Audi I have owned (B5 and B6 S4's). Silent.
Aluminum hexagon as well, car is like a vault, not a single noise or crackle, just broke 20k high speed miles.
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